Video: Oldest surviving cricket film from 1897 uncovered by British Film Institute
(Video credit: British Film Institute Youtube)
Earlier this month, the BFI uncovered what is a rare treat for cricket fans, calling it the oldest known cricket video. It shows none other than the famed Ranjitsinhji having a session of batting practice at the nets somewhere in England in the year 1897.
Ranjitsinhji’s batting technique has always been famed to be a pioneering one, but as can be seen in the video, his stance lacks the qualities that would get him to a first XI these days. He lacks balance, exhibits a strange shuffling footwork, and his head is nowhere near being on top of the ball when playing the drive.
However, his bottom hand is strong, and true to the style of T20s that would be played more than a century after this, he goes for attacking shots on all instances. This video, apart from being a rare collector's item, also shows how cricket techniques have changed dramatically since 1897.